John Sandes

(1863-1938 / Australia)

Biography of John Sandes

John Sandes (26 February 1863 – 29 November 1938) was an Australian journalist and author.

Sandes was born in Cork, Ireland the son of the Rev. Samuel Dickson Sandes, and his wife Sophia Julia, née Besnard. John Sandes was taken to England in 1872 and educated at King's College London, Trinity College, Stratford-on-Avon, and Oxford University, where he graduated B.A. in 1885.

Sandes came to Melbourne in 1887 and joined the staff of The Argus, for which he was a capable musical and dramatic critic. Sandes, along with E. T. Fricker and D. Symmons[1], were the original three journalists who conducted the "Passing Show" column, a feature of the paper carried on by generations of writers for more than 50 years. A collection of Sandes' verses from this column, 'Rhymes of the Times', was published in 1898, and in 1900 appeared another collection, 'Ballads of Battle'. The latter of these included the poem "With Death's Prophetic Ear" which gave Sandes a popular reputation. In 1903 he became a leader writer and reviewer on the Sydney Daily Telegraph, and in 1919 represented that paper at the peace conference. In 1910 Sandes' first novel Love and the Aeroplane was published.

Sandes was editor of The Harbour, a monthly devoted to shipping interests, from 1925 until shortly before his death at Wauchope, New South Wales. In his own name and under the pseudonym of "Don Delaney", Sandes was the author of several short popular novels, which were published between 1910 and 1917 and are listed in Miller's Australian Literature. In 1897 Sandes married Claire Louise (d.1928), daughter of Sir Graham Berry. Sandes was ill with cancer for eighteen months before his death, he was survived by two sons. He was an excellent journalist with a special talent for writing occasional verse.

PoemHunter.com Updates

The Earth-Mother

Cometh a voice:—‘My children, hear;
From the crowded street and the close-packed mart
I call you back with my message clear,
Back to my lap and my loving heart.
Long have ye left me, journeying on
By range and river and grassy plain,
To the teeming towns where the rest have gone—
Come back, come back to my arms again.

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